Used Echo--Questions

Messages
1,675
Location
VA
I am going to look at a 2001 Toyota Echo today or tomorrow, as a possible replacement for a used-up Saturn. The owner is asking $6000, and the car has an automatic and 47k mostly city miles. I'm concerned mainly about the transmission. Will this car be a complete dog with an automatic? I can't imagine a car with a 1.5 and auto being able to get out of its own way. (It will need to climb an occasional mountain pass, as high as 8-9000 feet.) Are there any common problems with this trans that I should know about? Finally, what is involved in servicing the automatic? (Does it have a drain plug, external filter, serviceable filter in pan, etc.) I'd also welcome any other pertinent comments from drivers of 2000 Echoes. Thanks.
 
Messages
23,750
Location
CA
FYI, 01 Echo AT takes 3.1 quarts of Toyota T-IV or equivalent ATF for each drain and refill, and has a total capacity of 7.3 quarts. Transmission most likely has a drain plug, as with all recent Toyotas. Probably has simple "screen" inside the pan in terms of filters, wise to add a magnefine filter. Pennzoil/Quaker State Multi-Vehicle ATF or Valvoline Maxlife ATF are both good, inexpensive, alternatives to the Toyota T-IV fluid. Mola's ATF and the Amsoil product are also good choices if you want to spend the money. Michael
 
Messages
4,844
Location
Saskatchewan
Sorry, not an Echo owner. But here's my comments anyway: It's fairly light (2105lb), so it shouldn't be too bad if there's not too much weight. Motor Trend lists a 0-60 of 10.0 seconds with the auto. I've heard they're not great on the highway because they get blown around by crosswinds, since they're so tall, flat-sided, and light.
 
Messages
12,908
Location
Middlesex County CT
I have a 2003 5-sp; it is the same as the 2000, but without the recalls. 8) General comments; Good commuter car, I am 6'3" 240lbs and I have plenty of head room. The seats are sub-standard for LONG trips and tall people. Very peppy above 3000RPM; it seems the engine torque increase linearly with RPM, the faster the engine spins the faster you can accellerate. Easily blown in cross winds as suggested. Ten minute oil change. Great on gas if conservatively driven. I pulled 48mpg (manual) over an 8,000 mile interval (highway mostly) 75K miles, 1 warranty repair transaxle seal leak. I should have bought 2. Replacement due in spring of 2006 as a 2007 model, European model "Yaris"
 
Messages
113
Location
Erie,PA
I had one before my Prius and it was a great little car. Very good on gas -always over 38 on the highway and 34-35 in city driving. Very manuverable, tight turning circle - U-turns on downtown Cleveland streets when I got lost were a snap! I had a 2001, my son has a 2003 bought from a rental company. No problems with either one. Simple to work on - check out Echofans.net for everything you need to know. The 1.5 liter vvt-i engine is Toyota's work horse for the rest of the world and it is highly respected.
 
Messages
530
Location
Deer Park, Washington
I have a 01 Echo with over 130k miles. I have the 5speed manual trans. Most reliable vehicle I have ever had. Only dealer trip was to have the valves adjusted at 100k(they didn't need adjustment), and to have the front end aligned. Averaged over 40mpg since new. Side wind makes things interesting on the highway, but everything else in very acceptable. I would but another Echo in a heartbeat. I used Mobil 1 5w30 for the first 110k, then switched to GC. I lost about 2mpg with GC so I switched to a mixture of 1.75qts of SuperTech Syn 10w30 and 2 qts of Mobil 1 5w30 EP and a factory Toyota oil filter, always at 5k OCI's. Spark plugs, Coolant and Air Filter are changed at 30k intervals.
 
Messages
1,175
Location
Long Beach, CA
Great little car for around-town driving and short commuting. The Prius also appears to have a ridiculously large amount of headroom. So you can wear that 10-gallon hat you've been eying... [Big Grin]
 
Messages
2,100
Location
Easton, PA
quote:
Originally posted by GoldenRod: RymingMechanic, Either you're a very very very tiny person, or you like putting your life at great risk.
So why don't you just tell him to buy a Suburban already... [Roll Eyes]
 
Messages
9,448
Location
USA
As long as you do not have more then 2 adults in the car and moderate lugage you should be fine in the mountains. You obiviously do not want to go to pikes peak with three sets of golf clubs in the trunk and three NFL lineman in the car!!! To put your mind at ease I often made a trek from Michigan to Georgia in a 1982 Toyota Starlet wich was rear wheel drive hatch about the size of a Chevete. I did it with my girl friend, myself and every piece of clothing we owned every summer for a few years. Sometimes we had it loaded down so much that the front wheels would be very lite until you burnt some gas out of the tank!!! The worst case was haveing to go 82mph down a hill to be able to climb it and not drop below 70MPH on the high side. I think that an oil like Redline 5W30 or Synergen 3W30LTS would do well to free up some HP and still offer excellent protection! Almost forgot to mention that if you have any worries about the transmission then pick up 1 bottle of Auto-Rx you will only need 1/2 the bottle for the transmission. After 1000-1500 miles of cleaning change the old fluid drive the car around a few miles bring it back and repeat the change and drive procedure three times!
 
Messages
17,074
Location
Upper Midwest
I own a 2000 but it is a manual transmission. The 2000 is the first year these cars were offered in the US, normally I wouldn't even consider a first-year run on a car but this is a Toyota. The car is probably the most reliable I have ever owned, the only thing it has ever been to the dealer for was a skipping CD player. That was replaced under warranty,and besides new tires and normal wear items it has not been in the shop since. I think Consumer Reports rated the Echo one of the top 5 most reliable cars sold in the US. Mine would tend to support that rating. I've got about 92,000 miles on my Echo at present and I am looking forward to at least another 92,000 before I make any changes. Especially with gas at $2.50/gallon... P.S. I use Mobil 1 oil and filters, the car uses no oil between changes.
 
Messages
17,074
Location
Upper Midwest
Well, I'll warn you that I also own a '99 Sienna (supposed sludger) so my OCIs are likely influenced by that perception whether it is real or not. Having said that, I generally run only 5000 miles on the oil. I haven't had an analysis done on the Echo's oil either (I have on the Sienna), but I bet if I did I'd find I can probably run a lot longer. I used to buy the regular M1 for the Echo and the EP version for the Sienna, but now I run EP in both just because it is simpler. I'm sure that the Echo can probably run longer on the oil especially now that I am using M1 EP, but I'm paranoid that way I guess. The cost just isn't that big of an issue for me.
 
Messages
12,908
Location
Middlesex County CT
chain. Sadly when the Yaris was introduced to North America, the guy from Toyota said if would get "an impressive 40mpg" Impressive that it is down 3mpg from the car it replaced 8(
 
Messages
849
Location
WA
I wonder if the Yarises (Yarii?) will be like the current crop of Echos & Corollas, that is, that they will be overwhelmingly A/T's. Hope not...
 
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